Showing posts from October, 2015

CLEAT: Low Tech on the Big Screen

The screening series CLEAT (Cinematic Lo-fi Experiments in Art and Technology) is intended as both a cheeky riff on The CJM's NEAT:New Experiments in Art and Technology exhibition and an expansion on some of its themes. Like NEAT, CLEAT features work by artists from three different eras, all bringing an active, creative approach to extant special effects technologies to bear on the stories they tell.

Coming at us from 1930, Roland West's fantastic mystery The Bat Whispers (October 29) throws its handmade aspect right into our faces. Its very first shot pans down from a miniaturized clocktower to the busy street below, smash cutting from a tabletop set representing street-level to an actual street, populated with actors and moving vehicles. Even a 1930, post-Melies audience likely saw through the illusion, but it registers as a powerful statement of intent, and we can't help but sign on for the ride. And it is indeed a ride, as West's 65mm cameras dart down streets, up s…

Mouth to Mouth: Amy Winehouse and Appropriation

Artist Jennie Ottinger recently gave a short gallery chat on her installation Mouth to Mouth: Pieces from an Animation about Cultural Appropriation—featured in The Contemporary Jewish Museum's current exhibition You Know I'm No Good. Responding to Amy Winehouse's legacy and music, Ottinger's multi-faceted installation addresses the icon's cultural appropriation of the legacy of female musicians, specifically African American singers. 
Jennie Ottinger (JO): As I got the topic, I really didn’t know much about Amy Winehouse—I had been aware of the hits and her personal story, but I didn’t really listen to her music. So I just started Googling, and I came across an article by Daphne A. Brooks—an African American Studies professor at Yale—about Amy Winehouse and cultural appropriation. It was in The Nation, you can find it online, it’s really great. I emailed her, and as we were talking back…